ROAD RACING

Maine’s largest winter road race, the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic in Cape Elizabeth, has been canceled for the second year in a row because of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The event is traditionally held on the first Sunday in February and usually has a cap of 1,000 entrants, though this year’s cap was lowered to 800 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Registration opened on Dec. 6 and sold out in less than a day.

Organizers are still offering a virtual option that runs from Jan. 31 through Feb. 6. Those who registered for the in-person race have the option of switching to virtual, deferring their entry until 2023, requesting a refund or donating their entry fee.

HOCKEY

ECHL: Cameron Askew and Pascal Laberge scored goals in the third period, but the Maine Mariners lost to the Worcester Railers at Worcester, Massachusetts.

Brent Beaudoin scored in the first period and Will Cullen in the second for the Railers, who made it 3-0 on a goal by Anthony Repaci in the third.

After the Mariners scored their goals, Nolan Vesey scored into an empty net in the final minute.

PREP SCHOOLS

BOYS’ HOCKEY: Nathanel Peretz notched hat trick and also set up a goal for North Yarmouth Academy (7-4-1) in a 5-1 win over Pingree at South Hamilton, Mass.

Daxton St. Hilaire and James Papavasiliou also scored for NYA. Michael Belleau had two assists and St. Hilaire had one. Aidan Farion made 23 saves.

BODYBUILDING

DICKERSON DIES: Chris Dickerson, who rose from a childhood in the Jim Crow-era South to become one of the world’s greatest bodybuilders, breaking barriers as the first Black Mr. America and the first openly gay Mr. Olympia, died Dec. 23 at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 82.

The cause was a heart ailment, said his friend Bill Neylon, a gym owner and retired amateur bodybuilder who had trained with Dickerson. He added that Dickerson had lived at a Fort Lauderdale rehab center in recent years, after being hospitalized for a broken hip in 2020 and having a heart attack and COVID-19.

In a career that spanned more than three decades and 50 titles, Dickerson was known for his diamond-shaped calves, dense and symmetrical physique and graceful posing style, in which he seemed to transform into living works of classical sculpture. His friend and rival Samir Bannout, the 1983 Mr. Olympia champion, recalled pinning pictures of Dickerson on his wall as a teenager, and being blown away years later when he saw him pose in person. The difference, he said, was like that of seeing a Ferrari or Lamborghini on the racetrack rather than in a photo.

“He was masterful,” Bannout said in a phone interview. “He had more confidence than anyone out there.”

Dickerson was overshadowed at times – literally, as he stood only 5-foot-6 – by rivals such as Lou Ferrigno, who appeared on “The Incredible Hulk” TV show, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared in the documentary “Pumping Iron” decades before he was elected governor of California. “I’m somewhat used to being overlooked,” Dickerson joked in a 2007 interview with Flex magazine. “At least it’s happened enough in my career that I’m not shocked by it anymore.”

TENNIS

SYDNEY CLASSIC: Ons Jabeur advanced to the quarterfinals by beating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-4 in a warm-up for next week’s Australian Open.

The seventh-seeded Jabeur had five aces and won 76% of her first-serve points to set up a match against fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit, who advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-1.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova had to wait out a rain delay before beating Jaqueline Cristian 6-1, 7-5 in her first singles match of 2022. She will next play Caroline Garcia, who advanced after ninth-seeded Elena Rybakina withdrew from their second-round match because of an injured left thigh. Third-ranked Garbine Muguruza defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1, 7-6 (4) to set up a quarterfinal match against Daria Kasatkina. Kasatkina backed up her win earlier this week over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens.

In the men’s draw, top-seeded Aslan Karatsev beat Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5, 6-4 and Brandon Nakashima defeated seventh-seeded Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7), 7-6 (6). Third-seeded Daniel Evans and fourth-seeded Reilly Opelka advanced with straight-set wins.

ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL: Thiago Monteiro was leading 6-7 (2), 6-3, 1-0 when top-seeded Gael Monfils retired with what was reported to be a neck or shoulder problem.

Thanaski Kokkinakis labored for almost three hours to beat John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) in a match with no service breaks. Isner had 23 aces, but Kokkinakis replied with 15 to oust the second-seeded American. Third-seeded Karin Khachanov beat Gianluca Mager 7-5, 6-3, fourth-seeded Marin Cilic defeated Jaume Munar 7-6 (6), 6-2, and Corentin Moutet of France eliminated eighth-seeded Marton Fucsovics 6-2, 6-2.

In the women’s event, 17-year-old American Coco Gauff beat Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, Madison Keys defeated Tereza Martincova 6-1, 6-3, and Ana Konjuh eliminated sixth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

DOPING

TEXAS MAN CHARGED: U.S. prosecutors charged a Texas man with providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, including the star Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare.

Eric Lira, 41, of El Paso, is the first person to be charged under a new U.S. anti-doping law governing international sports competitions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Lira distributed the drugs, including human growth hormone and erythropoietin, a blood-building hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games.

Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges. The criminal complaint does not name Okagbare, but includes details suggesting she was among Lira’s clients. A text message was sent to Okagbare seeking comment.

“It’s not winning if you take illegal substances – it’s cheating,” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement.

HOCKEY

KHL: The Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League, a key source of players for Olympic teams, decided to suspend its season for a week because of coronavirus outbreaks at many clubs.

The KHL said it will stop play from Saturday and resume on Jan. 22. The league said it knew of positive tests for 124 players around the league as of Tuesday morning, with 27 of those cases reported within the previous 24 hours.

The KHL website already listed 16 games rescheduled or canceled.

After the NHL withdrew from the Olympics last month, the KHL became crucial to assembling national teams for next month’s Beijing Games.

Gold-medal favorite Russia and host nation China are both expected to send squads of KHL players. Most of the other nations in the 12-team Olympic men’s tournament are expected to call on at least some players from the KHL.

SOCCER

COVID-19: Paris Saint-Germain called off its upcoming trip to the Persian Gulf region because of coronavirus concerns. The French league leader was scheduled to fly to Qatar for a three-day training camp starting Sunday and then play a friendly match in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Jan. 19.

“In view of the health situation in France, Paris Saint-Germain has decided to postpone the Qatar Winter Tour 2022 to protect the health of its staff and players,” PSG said. The club is owned by the Qatari state and last toured Qatar in 2019.

PSG was due to play a team composed of players from Saudi Arabia’s leading clubs Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, which won a record fourth Asian Champions League title in November.

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